The GOODS from Ocean Wise
Vancouver, BC | Every year seafood lovers look forward to the six to eight weeks of BC Spot Prawn season. Enjoying these succulent prawns direct from Vancouver docks is the most delicious way of supporting a sustainable and locally raised food choice. This year YEW restaurant + bar is going to celebrate BC Spot Prawn’s sweet, juicy goodness to the maximum – starting with a limited time offer to YEW’s fans and followers for an exclusive pre-purchased dinner.
From April 25 – May 7, a limited number of tickets will be sold for an exclusive five-course BC Spot Prawn menu. The $67 dinner can only be purchased in advance and features four delicious interpretations of the ultimate local, sustainable seafood treat (plus dessert). Menu/details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from YEW restaurant + bar
Vancouver, BC | Yew Restaurant + Bar is looking for a new Assistant Manager. The successful candidate will plan, organize, control and direct the work of employees in the Hotel’s seafood restaurant while ensuring guest satisfaction. Qualifications include reading, writing and oral proficiency in English. Creativity and high energy required. We are looking for someone with a minimum 1-2 years of previous experience in a management position in Food and Beverage. Must have solid food and beverage knowledge as well as Serving it Right certification; previous coaching and counselling experience in a unionized environment is an asset. Applicants should be computer literate with an advanced knoweldge of Squirrel, Open Table, Excel and Powerpoint. Knowledge of food and beverage service, cost control, labour control, maintenance, merchandising, and accounting are all important skills to have, as is the ability to work under pressure. A 2nd language is considered an asset. If you are interested in applying please send a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more
by Andrew Morrison | You know those urban myth horror stories that you sometimes hear about gigantic snakes swallowing entire pigs in one go? I happily joined their ranks over the weekend, eating my weight in pork and lobster at Yew in the Four Seasons. It was a special Visa Infinite supper, a course by course duel pitting Yew chef Ned Bell against John Jackson and Connie DeSousa of Calgary’s meaty Charcut. Greasing the rails were some outstanding local wines from Sumac Ridge, Meyer, Tinhorn, Le Vieux Pin, Painted Rock, and Orofino, with all being bookended by a couple of original Yew cocktails (one included a lobster claw and the other a strip of candied bacon). Personal highlights included the lobster bisque accented by vanilla and pineapple from Ned Bell (it sounds weird but it totally worked) and the savage, family-style delivery of ham hocks, Hunter sausages, and hominy from DeSousa and Jackson, two of the most enthusiastically pork-loving, burst-worthy chefs I’ve ever had the pleasure to blame for a morning of physical immobility. Take a closer look in the shots below…
The GOODS from YEW restaurant + bar
Vancouver, BC | Whether locals are gearing up for a tasty ‘staycation’ or visiting one of North America’s great culinary destinations from out of town, YEW is a must do for any food lover. An outstanding review by Mia Stainsby’s in the Vancouver Sun sings the praises the oustanding seafood quality, culinary talent and service, as does Alexandra Gill’s recent Globe & Mail review, which crowned YEW as “the city’s new premier seafood restaurant.” Read more
The GOODS from YEW restaurant + bar
Vancouver, BC | The culinary team at YEW restaurant + bar and Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver are very excited to compete in Gold Medal Plates this Friday evening, November 4. Led by Executive Chef Ned Bell, a previous event competitor, this represents Four Seasons’ first time in the culinary challenge. Truly a battle of Vancouver’s very best, Bell will be competing against ten very accomplished chefs from British Columbia. YEW restaurant + bar and Four Seasons Vancouver are paired up with BC wine phenomenon, Black Hills Estate Winery. Bell and his team, which includes executive sous chef Craig Dryhurst and sommelier Emily Walker, have been working hard to wow guests, judges and Olympians. ”We have upped our game,” says Bell. ”We can’t wait to showcase YEW’s new seafood concept and the talent and innovation on our team with a sophisticated twist on ‘surf and turf.’” Of course the specifics must remain confidential until Friday evening. Good luck team! Read more
With chef Raphael Gonzales gone to the USA I was wondering who would be taking over at Yew in the Four Seasons. It’s a German chef named Oliver Beckert, fresh from a Four Seasons property in Hawaii. Full press release below:
“Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver welcomes a new edition to Vancouver’s culinary scene with the arrival of Executive Chef Oliver Beckert. Landing in Vancouver from Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i in Hawaii, Chef Oliver Beckert will oversee all the Hotel’s culinary operations; from the city’s premier catering events to the gastronomic hotspot, YEW restaurant + bar. Beckert, whose accomplished skills began from a young age, was born, raised and educated in Nuremberg, Germany. As soon as his feet touched the ground, Chef Beckert found his calling. Learning the tricks of the trade since the young age of four, he has fond memories of cooking with his grandmother in the family kitchen.
Chef Beckert’s skills and creativity are a perfect fit for one of the world’s hottest dining destinations. He apprenticed at the exclusive one-Michelin star-rated restaurant “Bammes” prior to joining the venerable five-star Bellevue Palace in Berne, Switzerland – renowned for over a century of setting the standards in Swiss hospitality. Prior to his arrival in Vancouver, Chef Beckert honed his talents at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Lana’i, Miami, Washington D.C., London and New York City.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Oliver while in Hawaii,” says general manager Simon Pettigrew. “He has such a passion for great food and with Vancouver’s dynamic restaurant scene we look forward to spicing up the city.” “I simply love to cook,” says Beckert. “I enjoy being an integral part of someone’s culinary experience, from taste, aroma, and texture to presentation, mood and environment…I thrive on the intensity of the creative challenge.”
YEW restaurant + bar opened in December 2007 and has received numerous awards and accolades throughout the year. Chef Beckert looks forward to continuing the success and working in a city that offers endless fresh local ingredients. With the diversity of cultures within Vancouver, Chef Beckert is eager to experiment with the variety of ingredients and flavors available to him and his team.
He arrives with his wife, Yvonne, and son, Rafe. When not in the kitchen, he is keen on hitting the slopes, joining the soccer league and exploring the city with his family.”
What a wild weekend! And to think I almost didn’t feel up to it. Pshaw.
We started on the road to Cornucopia in the afternoon on Friday, which meant I missed my favourite event, the Trade Tasting (always good to have that rush when the doors open and the pouring begins). Once installed at the Four Seasons there was an hour for some beta fixes to this website before it was time for the Big Guns dinner at Araxi. This year the feature winery was Penfolds, and they broke out the superlative ’98 Grange during the 4th course (dry aged Pemberton Meadows beef with veal sweetbreads). The night went late and long, and involved cigars, ports, whiskeys, and I presume a few other things before I found myself in bed, 6 hours later and dying for coffee and a brand new tongue. The next day saw guests and media piled into a chartered bus and whisked to a private home tucked away outside the village for a luncheon showcasing Prospect Winery wines and the talents of Cabana Bar & Grille chef Ned Bell. Five courses later and fully recovered now from the night before, I stole a two hour nap at the hotel, enjoyed a forty minute shower, and then dressed for dinner at Bearfoot Bistro. We began in the cellar, where owner Andre St. Jacques sabred some large format Pommery champers and the gathered guests got giddy in anticipation. I’d spent some time with chef Melissa Craig and Andre in Vancouver a few days previously at the Gold Medal Plates, and they’d mentioned that dinner, paired with dueling Chateau de Beaucastel wines, was going to be a “different” and a “surprise”. And man, was it ever. They’d dreamed up a “diner” theme, playing up comfort foods of yore with high end ingredients and exacting preps, everything from mac & cheese and grilled cheese to eggs benny and banana splits. I heard some bitching from some guests (“I wouldn’t pay $250 for dinner in a diner!”), and even some media, but overall I thought the response was very positive. I certainly loved it. It takes guts to get thematic, and not a little confidence/capability to do it right. The wine pairings were challenging, but I enjoyed how they were structured. For several courses we were poured two glasses of the same wine/vintage, only one had aged in a 750ml bottle and the other in a 3l Jeroboam. Tasting bottle variation based on size wasn’t something I’d done before, and I found it fascinating that the larger format wines, all 20 years old, could do with a lot more cellaring. Once dinner had wrapped (just after midnight), my dining companions and I braved the rain and the drunken Australian teenagers who own the village square for sparkling nightcaps at Araxi’s famous “Bubbles” shindig. One huge improvement this year over previous years: crowd control. One could move relatively easily through the rooms and it was nowhere near as stifling. Perhaps they lost several thousand dollars in ticket sales by lowering their capacity, but the decision made the party that much more enjoyable. Great crowd of usual suspects and a tremendous amount of fun. I struggled somewhat through a long and leisurely brunch over at the Fairmont the next morning (a consequence of two days and nights of going too far), and then it was off down the mountain and back to the always pleasant grind.
In addition to the little home movie above, I’ve put together a gallery of photos below. Many of the pictures in both the gallery and the film were taken by my friend Coleen, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Thanks for reading, watching, and looking. If you have any advil or pepto, I’d appreciate the hook up.